Spectra Getting Started Guide

Finding Your Way Around

The home page displays up-to-date information that is personalized for whoever is logged in to the software. When you log in, the panels display your personal schedule, a list of notifications, tasks, and phone calls assigned to you, the weather forecast for the location you've chosen, a financial snapshot of the business (optional), and a summary of any additional services being used. There are also two menus in the upper-right portion of the screen. These menus appear on every page inthe software. The menus and home page panels are described below.


Top Menu

On the top menu you'll find handy shortcuts, along with tools to set things up, customize many of the features in the software, print reports, import clients and price lists, and even get help. You can customize almost anything from the Maintenance menu, quickly create new records with the File menu, or do your reporting from the Reports menu. 

Hub Menu

The hub menu is how you navigate through the software to open your calendar, work with your contacts, monitor your digital workflow, check on open invoices, etc.. Just click a menu item to move to another hub. Each hub can also be accessed by using the Go menu or it's corresponding function key. Note: Depending on the edition of Spectra you're using, some of these hubs may not be available. 

Home Page Panels

Notifications Panel

Use notifications to communicate with your staff and studios. You may also receive periodic external notifications from StudioPlus with information about service outages, updates, promotions, and training materials. See also: Notification Center

Features of the notification panel include:

  • A list of notifications specific to the logged in user.

  • Notifications can be cleared one at a time or all at once.  

  • With the appropriate security permissions, users can also create new notifications.

  • When a new notification arrives, it automatically appears on the home page and an alert appears in the lower right corner of the screen.


Tasks Panel

Create general tasks or tasks related to specific items in Spectra (i.e., clients, session, invoices, etc.) and use the Tasks panel to keep track of when tasks are due for yourself and other users. Click the option arrow to create a new task and see options for customizing the list. Click on a task to open it. Tasks will remain on the home page list until marked "complete." Overdue tasks are marked with a clock and urgent tasks are marked with an exclamation mark. A "personal" task can only be viewed by the person it is assigned to. 


Use tasks to alert your staff to new items they need to complete. Spectra includes a task alert feature. If you create a new task and assign it to another user or reassign an existing task in Spectra, the computer the assigned user is logged in on will receive an alert about the new task. It's a great way to notify your staff immediately of new task items.

Phone Calls Panel

View your phone calls for the day. Click on a phone call to view or complete a call. Click the options arrow to customize the list.

Schedule Panel

The Schedule panel displays the logged in user's upcoming appointments and sessions for the next three days. Click on any appointment or session to open it. 

Today’s Snapshot Panel

The Today’s Snapshot panel gives you real-time data on your studio. Click on the category labels to change the graph and click any number in the table to drill down and see the records that are behind the numbers.

Weather Panel

Weather is unpredictable -- it ruin your shoot! This panel provides a look at the upcoming weather forecast so you can plan accordingly. Click Customize Page to change your weather location.

Services Panel

The Services panel gives you a summary of what is happening with a variety of services that may be integrated with your software, including credit card processing, online storage, email, SMS texting, and InSpiredByYou. 

Shortcut List

Spectra's customizable shortcuts are very handy! They can be set up to quickly bring you to commonly used areas within the software, launch external applications, or open websites. Open the shortcut list by clicking the small arrow at the far right of the hub menu.

  1. To create personal shortcuts, open the shortcut list and select Add User Shortcut. Or go to Maintenance > Preferences > User Preferences and click Define User Shortcuts.

  2. Click Add to add a new shortcut.

  3. Choose whether the shortcut is Internal or External. Internal shortcuts are shortcuts to another screen in Spectra. External shortcuts open another program or website.

  4. Enter a Description for the shortcut. This is what it will be called on the shortcut list in Spectra. For internal shortcuts there is a list of available shortcuts to choose from.

  5. For external shortcuts you must also select the path. If you are creating a shortcut to another program, browse to the program's .EXE file. If the shortcut is for a website, enter the web address (i.e., "http://www.StudioPlusSoftware.com").

  6. To create shortcuts that are available to every user, go to Maintenance > General > Company Shortcuts.